What John Meis did is extraordinary…
John Meis is a prime example of the solution to Elliot Rodger. When Aaron Ybarra started shooting people at Seattle Pacific University like everyone else in the area, John was admittedly shocked. The difference between John and the others around him was John was able to assess his options and use the resources at his disposal to end the problem. The question is what makes John Meis different from the rest of the people in the area that day?
When we look at John Meis during his interviews, he is quiet, almost shy, humble and certainly not a physically imposing figure. His statements indicate he is a man of faith, and in reading his statements; he is clearly an intelligent and thoughtful human being. He worked part time as a student-building monitor or student security monitor while he attends college as an engineering student, and is also a teaching assistant and an intern at Boeing.
I am not privy to the training that Seattle Pacific University student-building monitors at receive, but of all we know about John Meis that seems to be the one thing that makes him stand out form his peers. He was armed with pepper spray and able to employ it. That too makes him slightly different from his peers.
John Meis is absolutely a hero in my book and deserves every ounce of praise and recognition he receives. He charged a man with a shogun who had already shot three people with only his physical skills and a can of pepper spray. So what in the training he received made him determine that carrying pepper spray was a better alternative to walking around completely unarmed?
The short answer is that at some point, John clearly chose to accept personal responsibility for his own safety and security and most importantly went the extra mile to actually do something about it. Perhaps John would have been successful in the absence of the pepper spray, and certainly he would have had to accept less risk if he had a defensive tool that could be employed from a greater distance like a tazer or a firearm. My suspicion is the tool was irrelevant and John would have prevailed in the absence of pepper spray. The pepper spray is not what stopped Aaron Ybarra from killing more innocent people, John Meis is what stopped Aaron Ybarra from killing more innocent people.
It is not the tool, but the decision to act that made him successful. The decision to prepare for potential events gave him a tool and a slight advantage when he chose to act. The lesson we should all take away from this is not that pepper spray, a tazer or a gun is the solution to the security problems we face. Each and every citizen is the real solution to the security problems we face. If we had a society composed of people like John Meis, and every criminal had to contend with a citizenry who would pepper spray and tackle anyone attacking their fellow citizens, crime would fall dramatically.
You don’t need a gun or a knife or pepper spray to be a part of the solution. You only need to choose to look at your environment from a practical perspective and do what you can to prepare to deal with potentially bad situations. You can make your community safer, and end crime by preparing to be part of solution. It starts with each of us doing a small part and taking an active role in our own safety and security. So how do we build more citizens like John Meis? The answer is simple, take a page out of John’s playbook and do something today to make yourself more prepared for a potentially bad situation – and then go back to your normal everyday life!
John Meis has my respect and admiration for what he did, but more so for the fact that he took some time to be prepared to act when the opportunity arose.
Take an active role in your own safety and security today!
~ Patrick Henry
#johnmeis, #massshooting, #elliotrodger